Dutch artist opens window to Oman


The exhibition will open tomorrow at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and will be on display at Bait Muzna Gallery till January 2. Photo - Jun Estrada/Times of Oman
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Titled 'A Window to Oman,' the 63-piece exhibition will feature a mix of pastel drawings, watercolour paintings and glass. The exhibition will continue for a month

Muscat: Bait Muzna's exhibition of works by Tonny Holsbergen, which opens tomorrow evening, will reveal the Dutch artist's continuing love for Oman.

Titled 'A Window to Oman,' the 63-piece exhibition will feature a mix of pastel drawings, watercolour paintings and glass art, all created by Holsbergen, who has exhibited several times before at Bait Muzna since first visiting Oman in 2001. The work reflects traditional Omani scenes such as Bedouin animal souqs, camel races, and women in colourful dresses and burqas.

"For me, it is fantastic painting Oman. When I'm in Holland painting, in my mind I am here in Oman. I always paint for Oman. I don't like to do anything else. I live in Amsterdam, in the loveliest city in the world and we have beautiful churches, beautiful channels, old houses, but no, I want to do this," said Holsbergen.

The clear light, vivid colours and traditional way of life in Oman have proven to be wonderful artistic inspiration for Holsbergen.



She spends time visiting the desert, wadis and different towns and villages around Oman sketching and taking photographs which she then uses for her paintings and pastel drawings, or as inspiration for her glass creations, which include colourful khanjars, burqas and doors.

Holsbergen's work is featured in hotels and ministries around Oman, as well as the book Faces of Oman, which was published in 2006. It is also popular with those Dutch nationals who have visited the Sultanate. In Amsterdam, people often see her work and recognise the tourist destination of which they are so fond of, she said.

"Bait Muzna Gallery is very happy to welcome Tonny Holsbergen back again. Her work shows for itself the beautiful quality and timeless nature of that kind of work," said Sayyida Susan Al Said, director of Bait Muzna.

While in Oman for her exhibition, Holsbergen will also do some workshops with students at the PDO school, Muscat International School and the Sultan's School.

"I just want to give my know how to the children. I love to teach," Holsbergen said, adding that she would focus on her pastel techniques. The exhibition will open at 7pm, tomorrow, at the Afrah Ballroom at the Grand Hyatt Hotel and will be on display at Bait Muzna Gallery in Old Muscat from December 4 to January 2.

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